Like the sweet smell of plumeria, love is always in the air on Maui – the perfect place to “get Maui’d” or spend a honeymoon. Stunning sunsets and secluded beach coves provide the fairy tale backdrops as couples exchange lei (traditionally, pikake for the bride and maile for the groom), to symbolize their eternal love.
The exotic landscape resonates with many who entwine all or part of traditional Hawaiian customs into their ceremony with an accompaniment of ukulele music, or the blowing of the conch shell (or pu) to announce the bride’s arrival and call to the earth, sea, air and fire as witnesses.
The bride, in her white gown and crown of flowers known as a haku, begins her walk toward her groom where the Kahu (local minister or Hawaiian holy man) performs the ceremony. Before the rings are exchanged, the Kahu dips a koa wood bowl into the sea representing strength and integrity. A ti leaf, representing prosperity and health, is dipped into the water and then sprinkled over the rings three times as a blessing.
Like pouring two different color sands into a single glass container and mixing them to symbolize the two have become one and cannot be separated, these island traditions symbolize marriage in unique and meaningful ways and embrace Hawaiian culture. A lava rock, wrapped in a ti leaf, and placed at the site as an offering concludes the ceremony.